In Indianapolis Wednesday, Indiana lawmakers on the House Elections and Apportionment Committee discussed House Joint Resolution 3, a measure to add an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, essentially banning gay marriage.
HJR-3 needed the committee’s approval in order to move to the full House and then to the Senate, where it will need to earn approval in both places before appearing on Indiana ballots in November. Timothy Wesco, state representative of District 21 Mishawaka and a strong supporter of HJR-3, was sure that the committee would pass the measure. He was right.
The same-sex relationship topic appears in The Record this week, too.
On the perspectives page, two students give their opinions about GC Open Letter, a group that advocates for a change to Goshen College’s hiring policy that excludes people in same-sex relationships.
Last semester, Eastern Mennonite University announced that it would begin a “listening process” to review a similar hiring policy, bringing the subject to light in other Mennonite colleges like GC.
David Yoder, co-editor-in-chief of EMU’s student newspaper The Weather Vane, wrote an editorial published December 6 in which he said, “The danger with listening processes is that they can become preaching processes, or arguing processes.”
His warning is ominous. Voices are silenced when we refuse to listen.
Even though we have not entered a formal listening process, Yoder’s advice to EMU is valid at GC. Without balancing our conversations with listening, they can quickly turn into “preaching” or “arguing.”
This week, activities on campus surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day gave volume to voices that are often silenced.
At the Spoken Word Coffeehouse, Dominique Chew, a junior, read an original piece that described a hurtful experience her mother, a mixed-race woman, faced after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder after he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in Florida.
In the piece, Chew’s mother asks her, “When will the white people speak up?”
When will people with power finally listen to the voices of those without power? And when will they use their power to give a voice to the voiceless?
HJR-3 will move to the full House for approval soon, and I image that with its progression will come more controversy around same-sex marriage. There will be preaching and there will be arguing.
I hope that there will also be listening and that no voices will go silenced.